Sunday, August 31, 2014


 Number I:
Number II:
Number III:
Number IV:
Number V:
Number VI:
Number VII:

What all these seven new Catholic churches have in common is that these are in the south! The south has risen! It is true! Four of these photos, I, II,  IV and VI are within the Province of Atlanta! The first of course in the Diocese of Savannah: Augusta's St. Teresa's Church. Number II is twenty miles from Augusta, in the Diocese of Charleston, St. Mary Help of Christians; number IV is the new cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina and number VI is a bit south of Savannah in Richmond Hill, St. Anne.

Number III is in Farragut, Tennessee, St. John Neumann.

Number V is the Monastery of the Poor Clares in Hanceville, Alabama.

Number VII is St. John the Apostle in Leesburg, Virginia.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


 Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the Prefect for Divine Worship said on Thursday that “Francis supported the work we were completing. He reiterated to us that more than being concerned with reforms, we needed to be based on the Pascal mystery that happens in the liturgy, to experience the mystery that happens in that moment. Watching the Pope celebrate Mass, we can understand how he experiences what happens during Mass”. 

MY COMMENTS: In Cardinal Llovera's succinct statement, His Eminence explains Pope Francis' liturgical agenda that goes beyond superficiality.  "More than being concerned with reforms, we need to be based on the Paschal Mystery that happens in the Liturgy and experience the mystery that happens in that moment!" And isn't this true reform?!

What have we focused on in the last 45 years since Sacrosanctum Concilium? Translating the Mass into vernaculars, stripping and renovating churches, iconoclastic architecture, focus on the roles of the laity in the Mass, tinkering with music and making new forms of music a god, throwing out the baby with the bath water. 

In this shift of focus what has been lost? The Paschal Mystery! For if the Paschal Mystery shined forth more clearly and strengthened the already strong faith of pre-Vatican II Catholics, a new springtime for the Church would have followed indeed. But with the shift in emphasis away from the Paschal Mystery what has followed is a parched dessert and a seemingly eternal fall, with laity falling away like the leaves of a tree in the fall.

We can, of course, lament that the Consilium committee of Pope Paul VI did not hear the same words from Pope Paul VI that Cardinal Llovera conveys concerning Pope Francis. What if Pope Paul VI had simply told the committee that was to implement the sober and limited scope of Sacrosanctum Concilium to be "More than being concerned with reforms, we need to be based on the Paschal Mystery that happens in the Liturgy and experience the mystery that happens in that moment!" What a different Church we would be today, truly focused in our Liturgy on the Paschal Mystery and thus maintaining a higher number of Catholics who actually come to the Mass for that which is essential, the Paschal Mystery, rather than for music, for lay lectors, for Communion Ministers and for a free-for-all in terms of casualness. 

What would the Post-Vatican so-called "reformed" Mass look like if the walking orders for its reform would have been based upon Pope Francis' liturgical vision of  "more than being concerned with reforms, we need to be based on the Paschal Mystery that happens in the Liturgy and experience the mystery that happens in that moment!"

First of all, more attention would have been given to what Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium asked for the liturgy, which was to focus more intensely on the Paschal Mystery! Actual participation both internal/contemplative and external/action! Maintain the Latin, but allow for some vernacular! Maintain Gregorian Chant as the music of the Latin Rite! Revise the Lectionary to include a more lavish use of Scripture (couldn't we have kept the same format and keeping the original lectionary but adding two more cycles but based on the same format and accomplished the same thing?) Noble simplicity which I think refers to the double Communion Rites of the Mass, one for the priest and one for the laity which the revised missal got right but more importantly the "Solemn Sung"version of the Mass with deacon and subdeacon, especially in the Pontifical Form. 

What took the focus off the Paschal Mystery with useless reforms not envisioned by Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium and effectively destroyed the faith of Catholics in the Paschal Mystery celebrated at Mass?

1. The focus on the horizontal that led to renovation of churches in an iconoclastic way, focus on lay ministries in the Mass and badgering people to actual participation in a dictatorial, denigrating way.

2. Making people stand for Holy Communion and extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion becoming the norm rather than the exception and not vesting Extraordinary Minister nor making it a formal ministry with a year long "seminiary-like" formation!

3. Reception of Holy Communion in the hand which contributes to a casual handling of the sacred and a diminished  sense of the Paschal Mystery and entering into it! The profanation of the Blessed Sacrament by an unscrupulousness concerning the falling of Holy Communion Fragments and Dropplets on the floor, in people's hands, wiped on their clothes and elsewhere.

However, we can't whine about that which wasn't and we have to deal with the normative Mass and the experiencing the Paschal Mystery there. All that is needed, without changing anything about the revised missal itself is the following:

1. Read the Black and Do the Red!
2. Encourage Reverence by being formal
3. Kneeling for Holy Communion and receiving on the tongue
4. Ad Orientem or the Benedictine Altar arrangement
5. Chanting the propers and sober liturgical chants that avoid the profane musical styles and instrumentation

As I have said time and time again, Pope Francis does model for us priests and our congregations the way to celebrate the normal Sunday Mass. He is sober, serious and hides his personality completely as soon as the procession begins and remains so until the recession is concluded. His personality or persona comes forward only in non-liturgical events such as greeting people and papal audiences. There is clearly a liturgical persona and a casual persona outside of the liturgy.

He also "says the black and does the red." The only variation of course is, by his own supreme authority as pontiff, to change the rubric concerning the mandatum of Holy Thursday to include women and non-Christians. Of course this "mandatum" does not have a long history in the Latin Rite and was reinstated only in the 1950's. But my point is that the Holy Father using his legitimate liturgical authority in a supreme way can change a rubric of this nature and interpret the meaning of the mandatum apart from the institution of the priesthood to showing forth the nature of the priesthood that is different than the Jewish priesthood that would not allow a priest to become "impure" by this sort of service.  

But apart from that change, the Holy Father "says the black and does the red" and makes adjustments for physical disabilities at the genuflections.   He models entering into and experiencing the Paschal Mystery!



Father Michael Ingram is spearheading the building of the largest Catholic Church in our diocese to seat about 1500. Augusta is the second largest city in Georgia and Columbia County is a booming, growing suburban county.  He worked with a clearing house in Atlanta to purchase historic altars, traditional antique windows, Stations of the Cross and other artifacts from churches closed elsewhere.

Please note that the altar below will  house the Blessed Sacrament, but can easily allow for Mass celebrated at it in either form, although a free standing altar will be below it. There are matching side altars from the same closed church. I am amazed that these can be dismantled, shipped and then put back together again.

I believe the Church will be consecrated in November. There is still a bit of interior work to be accomplished. 

I am excited for St. Teresa's and Fr. Ingram and Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski, their parochial vicar:


Read and weep!

Polish priest Dawid Kwiatkowski now ministers to Hispanics at St. Teresa of Avila

30-year-old priest taking up 3rd language

When the Rev. Dawid Kwiat­kowski arrived in the United States from Poland in 2006, he spoke very little English.
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Kwiatkowski came to St. Teresa of Avila after serving in Statesboro, Ga. He has asked parishioners to help him become fluent in Spanish so he can help them with everyday issues.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Kwiatkowski came to St. Teresa of Avila after serving in Statesboro, Ga. He has asked parishioners to help him become fluent in Spanish so he can help them with everyday issues.
Through intense study and immersion in American culture, he has become fluent. 
Now, because he was recently appointed to lead the Hispanic ministry at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Grovetown, [an Augusta suburb] he is applying the same intensity to learning Spanish.

“Everything that comes through the Hispanic ministry comes through me now, the priest from Poland,” Kwiatkowski said with a chuckle. (I've always loved Fr.Dawid's humility!)

The 30-year-old recalled the first Mass he spoke in Spanish, three days after returning from a two-week immersion program in Mexico. He had spontaneously given announcements in Spanish afterward.

As he greeted parishioners after the Mass, he noticed three women waiting off to the side for him to finish.

“I said, ‘What do you want?’ And they said, ‘Well, you made an announcement that you wanted at least three people to help you throughout the week with conversations in Spanish, so here we are,’ ” he said. “I said, ‘So you understood me?’ And they said yes.”

Learning to minister in another language is an intensive undertaking, and Kwiatkowski said he never imagined having to study another language after learning English.

He grew up Catholic, as do 95 percent of his countrymen. And like most Polish children, he attended church every Sunday with his family, but “nothing spectacularly religious about it,” he said.
There were no priests in his family, so it surprised everyone when he decided to become one.

The choice to not have a family was a difficult one, but he ultimately decided to follow his calling.
“Just deep inside of my heart I felt a call, like God is giving me this desire to be a priest. I thought it was a good desire, it came from Him, and that’s it and I followed it,” he said.

Through friends, he learned that a Polish priest from the Diocese of Savannah, Ga., had died in a car accident, and the diocese wanted a young Polish priest to replace him.

He arrived in Statesboro, Ga., in September 2006 and was taken the next day to Georgia Southern University to begin studying English for two semesters. Then he was accepted to Mount St. Mary’s seminary to study theology, often staying up nights to study. He completed his master’s degree in 2011.

“I knew I was going to work with Americans, so I need to know theology in English, because I didn’t want people upset that they don’t know what their priest is saying,” he said.
After he graduated and was ordained a priest, the diocese sent him to St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church in Statesboro, where he ministered in English for three years.
“And this year, in April, the bishop called me and asked if I was ready to be challenged more, and I said yes,” he said.

“He asked me how was my Spanish, and I said it didn’t exist.”
In Poland, Kwiatkowski had some exposure to the English language through television, but there was no access to Spanish at all.

In his second year of seminary, Kwiatkowski spent two months at a school in Mexico to study Spanish, but he went with the idea that he would go on an adventure. He didn’t put much effort into learning the language.

“I never thought they would actually put me in a position where I would have to learn another language after having to learn English,” he said.

He did learn to speak some of the language, but after four years of not using any Spanish, he’d forgotten most of what he’d learned.

When he was asked to take on the Hispanic ministry at St. Teresa, he asked the bishop to send him back to the school in Mexico for two weeks, where he put himself on a rigorous study schedule.
“It was not regular studying because I said to myself, ‘It didn’t make any sense. What am I going to do if I just study … words, and then come back here and start working with people about their problems and families, confessions and ways they can come back to God?’ ” he said.

He called the school and asked for daily meetings with at least one Mexican priest and three other Mexicans from different walks of life, so he could meet with them daily to talk about family problems and other issues, sacraments, sins and confessions.

“For two weeks, no one was allowed to say anything in English to me, or I would never respond to anybody who addressed me in English,” he said. “They would have to find ways of explaining things in Spanish, and I would have to find ways of saying in Spanish back to them.”
Now he holds confessions and Masses in Spanish and continues to meet with native Spanish speakers to continue practicing.

He said he is not sure why he was asked to minister to Hispanics, but because he is an immigrant who grew up in a small village, he can relate to the people he serves. Many are far from home and family, speak little English, are devout Catholics and turn to their priest for a multitude of issues.
“It’s a lot of work and I like it and enjoy it, and I want to have that language down, just like English,” he said. “We have so many in our diocese who can read the Mass in Spanish, (but) I always wanted to be able to at least understand their problems.”

Except for a homily he gave during a recent trip to Poland, Kwiatkowski has not given a single Mass in Polish during his four years as a priest.

“And it’s my natural language, too, and it’s kind of sad because I say English and Spanish and Latin – I say old Latin Mass from the 15th century – but nothing in Polish,” he said.


The next pope?

My Comments first: Apart from the obvious fact that Catholic politicians are not exempt from handing on the Catholic faith even in their politics and lawmaking, I am intrigued by Cardinal Parolin's comparison of the Fall of Rome or the Roman Empire during the last days of Saint Augustine to what is occurring today in the world and the way to rebuild from the ashes! I highlight that portion in red below. It is prophetic.

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who heads the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, shared a message on Friday with participants of the fifth annual conference of the International Catholic Legislators Network.

Below is Cardinal Parolin’s complete message to the conference participants:
Your Eminence, distinguished legislators participating at the fifth annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network, dear friends,

I greet you all. I am happy to be with you, lawmakers and associates, who are actively engaged in the public and political life of your countries and local communities, and whose professional work is nourished and guided by your Catholic faith. I wish to thank you for what you are doing to promote coherent Catholic witness in the world. I know that you are here because you are passionate about the “city on earth” which seeks to root Christian morals and virtues ever more authentically in communities around the world, so that together we may reach the “City of God”.

Just yesterday we celebrated the feast of Saint Augustine, to whom we owe the image of these two cities. History is not unambiguous nor of itself indifferent; it concerns the movement of two loves and the conflict between them. Two loves – he writes – give rise to two cities: the earthly one of love of self even to indifference towards God; and the heavenly one, of love of God even to indifference towards self (The City of God, XIV, 78). In difficult times of continual conflict and great uprising, as in the fall of Rome and the invasion of the Vandals who besieged Hippo at the very moment when Augustine was dying, he not only did not lose heart, but took up a heated dispute, calling upon the faith as the key to interpretation. He dedicates an entire work, The City of God, to learning how to understand the present circumstances and to establishing a new order for living in society. It is a reading according to the logic of wisdom, which places the heart of man at the centre and indicates the true nature of Christian hope. I believe that in our own difficult times, too, valuable indications emerge clearly from the experiences and teachings of Saint Augustine.

Dear friends, we can say without hesitation that the Church needs you in her universal mission, and in turn, you need the Church as mother and teacher of all.

In her diversity of service to the world, the Church has a single mission (cf. Apostolicam Actuositatem, 2): to restore all things in Christ. For this task, the Church needs you, active Catholic legislators, because your law-making is a vital part of the lay apostolate – to “have the Gospel spirit permeate and improve the temporal order”. As shapers of policy your role is not only to live “in the midst of the world”, but also to be “a leaven in the world” in favour of the family, the local community and your respective nations. The great challenge for you is to bring your faith to bear upon the pressing issues facing the world today, that is, to dialogue with society and culture, and to humbly speak from the light which our faith offers (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 238).

His Holiness Pope Francis has written that we are to strive to “light a fire in the heart of the world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 271). This means, by your words, by your witness and by your legislative and political actions informed by faith, you are called to foster a more just society, centred on the dignity of the human person.

The Church knows your work is not easy. She understands the many threats to family life, in the form of policies and laws that allow or even hasten the dissolving of the family. She is also fully aware of the urgent need to alleviate poverty and to support the integral development of society’s most neglected members. And so, just as the Church needs you, you need the Church. She places at your disposal her sacraments, her wise counsel and her commitment to the moral truths of the natural law. She supports your ongoing initiatives to serve the common good through sound lawmaking. For their part, the Holy Father and the Bishops encourage your work to further Christ’s kingdom on earth, in unity with their mission as pastors.

Dear friends, I invite you to grow in holiness, deepening your own personal commitment to conversion so that your witness and dialogue with the world may bear lasting fruit! May you always strive to kindle the “fire in the heart of the world”, by your consistent and patient witness to the teachings of the Church.

Commending your service to the loving intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Thomas More, I am pleased on this occasion to convey to you the greetings of the Holy Father, his assurance of prayers for your work and his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace, strength and perseverance.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Folks, we need to do spiritual warfare. This is sounding most ominous around the world. The UK has placed the terrorism threat to the next to the highest for their country and we have this clarification concerning threats against the Holy Father, the Vatican and Italy. Scary stuff indeed that needs prayer and a sober approach to Catholicism, Liturgy and life:

Pope Francis ISIS Threat Denied by Vatican, But Security Tightens

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 07:32 AM

By Nick Sanchez

Vatican officials denied this week that Pope Francis is a target of ISIS, but the Italian government is stepping up security across the nation as it continues to collect intelligence on the growing terrorist group.

"There is nothing serious to this," spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi S.J. told Catholic News Agency in responding to a claim made by Italy's Il Tempo newspaper. "There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation."

Claiming the pope was under threat, the original Il Tempo report published Monday drew upon an unnamed source who said a number of Muslim jihadists had entered the country.

The source said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, considers the pope "the greatest exponent of the Christian religions" and the "bearer of false truth." Because of this, Islamic fundamentalists led by self-proclaimed Caliph Al-Baghdadi seek to "raise the level of confrontation" by putting Pope Francis "in the crosshairs."

The source did not say if the threat was a reaction to Pope Francis' admission earlier this month that "it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," referring to U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq. At the time, the pope was rigorous with his comments, saying "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I don't say 'to bomb' or 'make war,' [but] 'stop.'"

While the Vatican says it remains unalarmed, several Italian news agencies said the government was nonetheless tightening security across the country.

The Daily Beast reported that deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico is concerned about "sensitive targets" including the Vatican, embassies to both Italy and the Holy See, Catholic churches, transportation hubs, as well as historic landmarks like the Coliseum.

"ISIS poses an international and European security threat and we in Italy feel particularly exposed," Bubbico told Italian reporters at Sky News.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that at least 50 Italians are known to be fighting with ISIS, most of them under the age of 25. Jihadi recruiter Imam Bilal Bosnic is said to have recruited many if not most of the fighters from Italy's northern regions.

Bosnic told La Repubblica in an interview published Thursday that James Foley, the American journalist publicly beheaded by ISIS, "was a spy" and called the killing "justified."

He also confirmed that the Vatican was a target.

"We Muslims believe that one day the whole world will be an Islamic state. Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim. Maybe I will not be able to see it, but that time will come," he said.

Bosnic was investigated last year by Italian counterterrorism officials, and now resides in Bosnia.

Italy has recently waded into the ISIS conflict in Iraq, with parliament recently approving a measure to ship weapons to the country's Kurdish population. Kurdish peshmerga troops have also been assisted by the U.S. as they've fought back against encroaching ISIS fighters.

Read Latest Breaking News from


Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria have built an empire with their personal small business corporation which they call a church. They have a "boutique" niche on the particular market share which is attracted to their beautiful, shapely, well packaged and advertized brand name. It is nice, feel good narcissism. And boy oh girl does it sell! It is vapid too and anything but Christian. But it is religion of sorts.

I love the theologian, Dr. Bill Cosby's succinct critique of Victoria's, well packaged, shapely, cosmetic enhanced, coiffured doctrines and theology:


UPDATE: CNN is reporting the following:

The UK government today raised its terror threat level from substantial to severe, the fourth highest of five levels.

"That means that a terrorist attack is highly likely, but there is no intelligence to suggest that an attack is imminent," Home Secretary Theresa May said. "The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq, where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West."

As Catholics we know that at our death each of us will have a "particular or personal" judgement where the thrust of our lives either toward God and His Church or away from God and His Church are judged and we are granted the gift of heaven through Christ and our striving to accept His gifts or our damnation by our rejection definitively of all the gifts offered to us for our salvation from God.

But the world and the Church will be judged globally and from the beginning at the Last Judgment when our bodies will be raised from the clay of the earth and fashioned anew for those in heaven according to the Glorified Body of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

But that global judgment of the world and of the Church happens in the here and now quite often. I think of the manner in which the sex abuse scandal of the Church has been revealed and judged in the here and now. And now we see hints of a similar judgement against the United States in our current worldwide crisis and as a certain president ditters with no real sense of engagement or direction except when it comes  to promoting the LGBT agenda and making it easier for clinics to provide abortions, the genocide of babies yet to be born and forcing the Church to do that which is evil in all areas of sexuality including marriage, contraception and abortion. There is a real moral bankruptsy and confusion of priorities of a president here and rightly to be harshly judged by God.

And thus we have this stunning judgment of the USA and our President from Chaldean Patriarch Sako (in union with Rome)! Keep in mind that it is our current President, despite the questionable intervention into Iraq and other parts of the Middle East by another President, who abandoned Iraq altogether when Military bases could have remained to protect this country and its region from what is currently happening. In this regard, the current President is accountable.

Chaldean Patriarch Sako had been mistakenly reported as saying that, "the US is behind ISIS," but he does not back off (rightly, of course) from claiming indirect US responsibility for all that is happening to Iraqi Christians:

The United States is indirectly responsible for the violence in Iraq that has seen more than half of the Christian population displaced, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako said Thursday, after a media report quoted him saying "America is behind ISIS."

“The U.S. is indirectly responsible for what is going on in Iraq as it said it would ensure democracy and the well-being of the people, but 10 years have passed and on the contrary we have gone backward,” Sako told reporters at Beirut's airport.

He was responding to a question following remarks attributed to him in the local daily Ad-Diyar in which he accused the U.S. of supporting ISIS.

“ Iraq has been divided ... and the Americans left Iraq in the midst of a vacuum where there was no army to protect [the people] and ISIS and these jihadist groups have been present for four years,” he said, before boarding a plane to Iraq.

“There were about 1 million Christians in Iraq and more than half of them have been displaced. Only 400,000 are left while displacement is still rising,” Sako added. (Source)

And despite it all: "Obama confesses: ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ for Islamic State"


Obviously Pope Francis knows the anxieties of those who truly appreciated Pope Benedict's liturgical style, theology and leadership and now see in this pontificate a reversal of all Pope Benedict accomplish and in a stunningly short period of time. Thus, perhaps, to quell these anxieties Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the Prefect for Divine Worship up until yesterday gave an interview to the Vatican Insider to dispel some of the anxieties of those following the current pontificate: 


Cañizares: “I told Francis I wanted to live with the smell of the sheep”

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Cañizares Llovera (da
Cañizares Llovera (da

Interview with the Prefect for Divine Worship who leaves the Curia: “It is a great joy to me, Valencia has not had a Valencian bishop for over 100 years. The Pope has supported us in our work for the liturgy”

“I told Pope Francis: I want to live with the smell of the sheep. It was my desire to return to a diocese…”. Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the Prefect for Divine Worship, who has just been appointed archbishop of Valencia, smiles brightly because of his long awaited appointment, that was announced yesterday. Those who attempt to present his departure from the Roman Curia as a reduction, or even a “punishment” could not be more wrong. Firstly, because “for a shepherd there is nothing better than being among his flock”. And also because it was the cardinal himself to ask Pope Francis to return to serving as bishop in a diocese.
How did you welcome the news?
“I am really very happy. I return to my home diocese, which has not had a Valencian bishop for over 100 years…”
How do you live with your removal from the Curia?
“It was my wish. It was [I] who told Francis that I wanted to have the smell of the sheep. I asked to go back to a diocese, any diocese that the Pope would want to send me to. To me it was a great joy and a great honour that the Holy Father chose Valencia, one of the dioceses in Spain and in Europe that is most alive, even due to the number of its vocations. It is a sign of gratitude and recognition towards me, a gift from Francis that moves me, I am really grateful for it”.
What can you say about these five years you have spend at the head of the ministry that deals with liturgy?
“I am grateful for this experience in the Curia. We have worked to carry on the liturgical renewal wanted by the Second Vatican Council. One of the most fundamental moments was the symposium on the constitution of the Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as the documents we published and those that are still being written and will be published soon. We need to keep on working so that the Council is fully implemented in the liturgical field ,according to what Benedict XVI stated: God is the subject of liturgy, not us. Liturgy is not an action of man but an action of God”. (My comment: I recall Pope Francis saying precisely the same thing about Sacrosanctum Concilium and Vatican II, that it hasn't been implemented yet as it should be--keeping continuity with what Pope Benedict had said many times.)
May I ask how Pope Francis was involved in the work of the Congretation for Divine Worship in this one and a half years of pontificate?
 “Francis supported the work we were completing. He reiterated to us that more than being concerned with reforms, we needed to be based on the Pascal mystery that happens in the liturgy, to experience the mystery that happens in that moment. Watching the Pope celebrate Mass, we can understand how he experiences what happens during Mass”.
The last few years have not been easy in terms of the relationship between the Church and the Spanish governments. How do you intend to live it?
“I believe that I will have a friendly relationship with the world of politics and institutions, signaled by openness and collaboration, with the sole object of the common good, the good of our people. There have been and there still are difficult situations, not only from an economic and financial point of view. I hope that we can also work for the unity of the country, which is not only political but also anthropological; it is a project that has been alive for more than 14 centuries and is founded on Christian identity”.

Thursday, August 28, 2014



When I first read this, my eyes saw FSSP, not SSPX and I went to the video and saw liturgical abuses, altar servers coming up late and not vested properly, the priest wearing a modern chasuble and no maniple. So I thought to myself, I'll write a post on liturgical abuse in an EF Mass at St. Peter's.  Then I thought to myself, did I see SSPX instead of FSSP? And I went back to the Rorate Caeli headline and sure enough it was SSPX! Well! Well! Well! This is stunning ecumenical news concerning the SSPX if you ask me. And yes, yes I know, the liturgical abuses were not really and the unvested altar boys certainly know what they are doing.

The other thing I was going to write in terms of the EF Mass is that I've only celebrated the EF Mass for the last seven years but I haven't attended one believe it or not in that time. What I notice watching this low Mass is how sober the EF Mass is, how gestures are like sign language and there is no need for an audible voice when the priest is praying directly to God just as long a you know where he is in the Mass and have the prayers available in a missal to follow along in the vernacular or Latin if you understand it. 

It shows the beauty of movement, gestures and an superabundance of these in the EF Mass which is its liturgical genius lost completely almost in the OF.

But the real bombshell is an SSPX Priest was allowed to celebrate Mass in the Basilica. EF Masses are celebrated privately every Morning at St. Peters by any other priest who wishes to do so.

SSPX Priest Celebrates Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica

By the gracious permission of the higher direction of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, the faithful of the church of Saint-Martin-des-Gaules, Noisy-le-Grand (near Paris) -- who were in Rome for a summer vacation pilgrimage led by Father Michel de Sivry, of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) -- were able to attend a Mass at the Altar of Saint Pius X, where the saintly Pope's body reposes.
The Mass in the Vatican Basilica was celebrated by Fr. de Sivry on August 9, 2014, during this special centennial year of the dies natalis of Saint Pius X.


Top Italian Bishop Nunzio Galantino Says Church Must Welcome 'Unconventional Couples'


My Comments first and the RNS article below my comments: Bishop Nunzio Galantino Pope Francis’ choice in March to lead the fractious Italian hierarchy has stirred the waters a few times since he has risen to fame and has had to back track once or twice in his pastorally insensitive comments.

He seems to have stirred the pot again according to Religious New Service. Of course we have to wait and see what the Synod on the Family promotes in October. But when reading the Italian Pastoral situation let me offer a few comments from the perspective of my Italian relative in Livorno whom I visited and had a conversation about some of these things last October to be exact!

1. Italian clergy tend to be very clerical and aloof, but not all certainly. They do not seem to have been trained well in pastoral theology or sensitivity to the legitimate requests of Catholics, either practicing or not practicing.  For example, one of my first cousins was incense that a relative of hers who had a baby who was dying could not get a priest to come and baptize the baby because the mother, though a cultural Catholic, was not practicing the faith. This sort of thing is a scandal and pushes even practicing Catholics to the brink!

2. Annulments are not as common in Italy as in the USA where is has been a great, very great pastoral tool. Keep in mind that civil divorce was not allowed in Italy until relatively recently, in the past 30 years or so. The Church's fight to keep divorce illegal rankled not a few Italians especially those who had spouses who left them for someone else and had no legal recourse in terms of separation benefits.

Thus annulments are rare. When I spoke about the annulment procedure and how many Catholics I had marriages blessed in the Church after an annulment they couldn't believe their ears. None of my relatives knew of anyone who ever got an annulment!

So if the Synod moves the Church in Italy and elsewhere to find solutions to divorced and remarried through the Church's structure of annulments, that is a great thing to say the least and it is pastoral.

I do not believe there will be solutions apart from the External Forum's (tribunals) system. I do believe the synod will ask that tribunals and education about annulments will be beefed up especially in areas of the world where it is weak. I think too, the Internal Forum, that of Confession, will be clarified.

The External Forum may be simplified in some ways.

So don't jump to conclusions. I don't see anything radical happening independent of the ways we are already doing things in the USA. It will simply be extended to others and the internal forum will be clarified with more rules to govern it!

ROME (RNS) The Catholic Church should make “unconventional couples” feel at home instead of making them targets of “de facto discrimination,” the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.

“Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics.

“The burden of exclusion from the sacraments is an unjustified price to pay, in addition to de facto discrimination,” he said Wednesday (Aug. 27) in an address to a national conference on liturgy in the Italian hill town of Orvieto.

Galantino was Francis’ choice in March to lead the fractious Italian hierarchy, and from the beginning the bishop has adopted the pontiff’s inclusive approach. That has often landed Galantino in hot water, as he has spoken about the need for the church to welcome gays and to consider optional celibacy for the priesthood.

But Galantino has not softened his views, which are especially newsworthy because in October the Vatican will host a major conference of the world’s top bishops, called a synod, to discuss issues facing the modern family.

How to deal with gay and cohabiting couples is a likely topic of discussion, but the question of whether Catholics who have divorced and remarried without an annulment can take Communion has emerged as a focal point of disputes among bishops.

That’s because the issue is a test case of whether the church under Francis will, or can, change its policies relating to the central sacrament of Communion. Some say such a change is impossible, while others say that changes are not only possible but imperative given that so many couples have divorced and remarried and feel alienated from the church.

Galantino’s remarks were widely reported in Italian media, including Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian hierarchy, and were translated by the Italian news agency ANSA.

In his talk, Galantino, who is secretary-general of the Italian Bishops Conference, stressed that everyone should “feel at home” in the church, and especially at Mass — including migrants, the disabled, the poor and those in unconventional relationships.

He spoke about the need for churches to make their buildings accessible for those with disabilities, for example, and said Catholics should take care that the poor are not treated differently from the wealthy at Mass.

But he appeared to send a strong message about divorced and remarried Catholics who are excluded from the sacraments.

“They live in their situation with great suffering,” he said, “and they perceive the church’s regulations as very severe, not compassionate if not punitive.”


Rorate Caeli is reporting the following and we hold our breath!

Cañizares goes to Valencia, and his replacement at Divine Worship is...

As mentioned by us days ago, it's been confirmed today: Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, up to today Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was named by Pope Francis new Archbishop of Valencia (in the place of Carlos Osoro Sierra, named also today Archbishop of Madrid).
Who will now occupy the currently vacant central liturgical position in the most widespread rite in the Church, the Modern Roman Rite ("Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite")? A Ratzingerian? A Bugninian? Someone (or something?...) altogether different? Somewhere in Casa Santa Marta, this has already been decided...


I was at this outdoor Mass in October when Pope Francis consecrated the world to our Lady of Fatima. I was fortunate enough to distribute Holy Communion at this Mass and was seated on the front row with other priests directly opposite to where the "Our Lady of Fatima" statue was placed on the top step of St. Peter's Basilica. With what is happening in the world with ISIS, I continue to wonder about the third secret of Fatima and to just what pope it refers:
Fatima and Islam
       A Muslim Princess is linked to the place where Blessed Virgin appeared in Portugal in 1917.   Long before these heavenly events, a place near where the apparitions would occur, was named after this Princess named Fatima.  In the unfolding of time, Mary manifested herself on earth, and the place called Fatima would become attached to her, as Our Lady of Fatima. 

       Fatima was the favorite daughter of Muhammad, so we associate the name with Islam. In this way the namesake in Portugal is connected to the Muslims.  But it seems to go deeper than this. 
       The name Fatima may be thought of as a bridge between Christendom to Islam.  As such, it's not a bridge to nowhere, that we hear about today, but a bridge to somewhere: to a much better world, where we may hope for a better understanding between Christians and Muslims. Read more HERE.

Vatican Addresses Report Saying Pope Francis Is An ISIS Target

Posted: Updated:
The Vatican is speaking out against a claim that Pope Francis is a target of the Islamic State militant group, otherwise known as ISIS.

In an article published Monday, Italy's Il Tempo newspaper reported that the pope is a target of ISIS. The paper, citing an unnamed Italian intelligence source, states the pope -- who is considered the "bearer of false truths" by the group -- is "in the crosshairs of ISIS" and that the extremist group plans to "raise the level of confrontation" by attacking Italy and greater Europe.

However, the Vatican has dismissed the report.

“There is nothing serious to this," spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi S.J. told Catholic News Agency. "There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation."
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is behind the group's offense to overtake large regions of Iraq and Syria in an effort to establish its own Islamic State, issued a threat against Rome earlier this summer, near the start of Ramadan.

"Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims," he said in an audio recording posted online and reported by the Telegraph. "This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills."

Earlier this month, ISIS took control of Iraq's largest Christian city, CNN reported. At the time, the pontiff expressed concern for Christians in the region.

While he has not endorsed American airstrikes against the group, Pope Francis has said ISIS must be stopped.

"I can only say this: It is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underline the verb: stop. I do not say bomb, make war, I say stop by some means," he said during a press conference last week, according to CNN. Adding: "It is there that this should be discussed. Is there an unjust aggressor? It would seem there is. How do we stop him?

And then there is this from Rorate Caeli about a new Fatima Secret? READ ON.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


We have begun to lay the marble floor tiles from Italy, of course and are still awaiting the completion of the actual altar railing which is being polished. New gates are ready too!

The first step on the nave level has been extended and tiled with marble. Just doing this has helped with going down these stairs from the top level of the sanctuary. There was something about having four steep steps now reduced to three with a large landing for the forth. It is on this extended step the altar railing will be installed.

As well, the removal of the ugly hand railings makes all the difference in the world in presenting a less constricted area to the eye.

Also we are repairing a leak and plaster damage below one of the "rose" windows in the church, thus the need for scaffolding.


UPDATE WHICH SEEMS TO CONFIRM THE PREMISE OF MANY ABOUT INFILTRATION, PRESS THESE SENTENCES TO READ MORE: In an open letter to Pope Francis, I explain my decision to leave the Jesuits because of LGBTQ issues and ask the pontiff to be stronger in his statements about LGBTQ equality.

It was said that in the heyday of Communism in various countries, communists tried to infiltrate the Church to convert her to the Communistic ideology. This certainly happened to the bishops and clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

There was a try also in the Catholic Church of Poland and perhaps in some senior ranking officials in the Vatican. Certainly during the time the Nazis there were Catholic bishops who sympathized with some of the ideologies of Hitler.

It is also said that in Europe and in Italy and perhaps in the Vatican City State, that high ranking Church officials were Masons. European Masonry is much different than the USA's version and there remains a virulent anti-Catholicism. In fact Pope St. John Paul II reiterated the Church's historic censure of this group in the 1980's following a major scandal in Italy involving high ranking Church personnel and the Masons. Up until that time, there was a sort of detente with the Masons and Catholics in this country were allowed to join for fraternal reasons and insurance, etc. But no more.Catholics are not permitted to be Masons by Church law and the edict of Pope St. John Paul II.

I print below an article below from an evidently fundamentalist Protestant publication. One might read into this article a bit of homophobia but I think we can't underestimate the lobby of the homosexual community to mainstream their ideology concerning sex, public sexual expression and same sex marriage and a sort of dictatorial fascism concerning this lobby that is highly well financed with promoters in high place in the most important areas of communication, the old and new medias as well as entertainment.

Given the recent spike in lawsuits against the Catholic Church from so-called Catholics and non-Catholics who worked in our schools and then entered same-sex marriage only to be dismissed from employment with the Church's institutions, one has to think there is an agenda to change the Church through these sorts of tactics and to infiltrate the Church with people who have an ideological agenda against the Church's teaching on sexuality, chastity and marriage, anti-Catholicism in disguise similar to the other examples I report above, an infiltration of sorts.

I do not print the following as an endorsement of the entire contents of this Protestant publication but as something that should be pondered, critiqued and evaluated.

Vicky Beeching
Vicky Beeching

An evangelical Christian worship singer who has been urging churches to change their doctrine on homosexual behavior since announcing she is a lesbian is at the forefront of a coming tidal wave of “infiltration” of the church by promoters of the “gay” agenda, contends evangelical attorney, evangelist and activist Scott Lively.

Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, said that with insiders on the offensive such as Vicky Beeching, a British-born artist who has become popular among evangelicals in the U.S., he expects “attacks on Christians in America like we’ve never seen before.”

He explained that after the Stonewall riots in 1969, homosexual activists banded together to oppose every American institution that did not fully accept and promote homosexual behavior.
The first victory was over the American Psychiatric Association, and within 40 years, every other group had been conquered, he said. The Boy Scouts were the latest to fall, just a year ago.
Now, the only organization left is the church, he said.

“All of their battle-hardened activists and enormous resources are all directed at the church,” he said.
The problem is that church leaders haven’t been preparing for such a fight, Lively said, and don’t really know what the movement is about.

Beeching revealed she is a lesbian in an interview last week with the Independent newspaper of London.

“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people,” she said.

Lively, however, said Beeching represents “the drawing back of the tide before a tsunami” and an indicator of “how bad this is going to get.”

He’s published a brochure for pastors that explains what the Bible says about homosexuality.
“Not a single biblical passage portrays homosexuality positively,” the brochure says. “Jesus unequivocally condemned ALL sexual sin including homosexuality by affirming the ‘one flesh’ paradigm of Genesis.”

It contends a “dangerous modern heresy called ‘gay theology’ is infiltrating the Christian church at an alarming pace.”

“Many believers, fearful of being called ‘haters,’ are trivializing the threat by calling homosexuality ‘just another sin,’” it says.

“But from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible teaches that homosexuality is NOT ‘just another sin.’ It is a symbol of extreme rebellion against God and harbinger of His wrath.”

He said his goal is to put the brochure into the hands of every pastor and Christian leader in America and around the world so they have a biblical explanation for why homosexual behavior is sinful.
Lively noted one of the founders of the “gay” agenda, Herbert Marcuse, expressed a desire to see the “disintegration of the … monogamic and patriarchal family.”

“One last barrier to ‘gay’ cultural hegemony remains: the Christian church,”

Lively is not unfamiliar with attacks on Christians. He’s being sued by activists in Uganda who accused him under the Alien Tort Statute of inciting the persecution of homosexuals.

The case is significant because a ruling against him would mean that an international agenda based on anti-biblical standards could trump the U.S. Constitution’s freedom of speech and religion.

U.S. District Judge Michael Posner has let the case brought against Lively by an African group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG, proceed.

SMUG calls Lively’s speech against homosexual behavior a “crime against humanity” in violation of “international law.” The plaintiffs allege the Alien Tort Statute in the United States allows them to make the charge in a U.S. court.

But Lively’s attorney, Horatio Mihet of Liberty Counsel, says his client’s preaching is protected by the Constitution.

“We believe SMUG’s claims are firmly foreclosed, not only by the First Amendment right to free speech, but also by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kiobel, which eliminated Alien Tort Statute claims for events that allegedly occurred in foreign nations,” he said.